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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

CLAWS OF CATS

ters,    as

FIG. 193.—Section of auditory bulla of Tiger. am, Atn
tory meatms ; JfO, basioccipital; e, Etistacliian. cam
ics oc, two chambers of bulla divided by *, septm
*s their aperture of communication ; JP&, perloti
Sq, squamosal ; f, tympanic ring. (From J?iowe
Osteology.)

The digits are five on the fore-feet, four on the Mud. T
caecum is present and small This family contains but ti
genera,, JFelis and
CyTiaelur-us.

The genus Felis is
very wide in its dis-
tribution, "being com-
mon to both the Old
and the New "Worlds.
Its distinctive charae-
opposed to
s, are mainly
fcjfue following :—-Tlie
claws are retractile,
and the retractility is
more markedly de-
veloped than In the
Cheetah. The molar
is not so nearly in
a line "with the other teeth; the upper camassial, mor
over, has an inner tubercle. The legs are relatively shorter.

The complete retractility
the claws is a very distinct!1
feature of the true Cats, It
brought about in this way: tl
terminal joint of the toe, whi<
is clad with the daw, folds ba<

Fio.   194.—The phalanges  of the middle    into Cfc sheatli   by the   outer  all

digit of the maims of the Moa (£^w   of or ^^bove the middle phalan

leo).      xj.      *,   The   central   portion          .-.-,-,-       -» *           =1-       i

forming the internal Btappori  to the    It   IS   .held   IB,   this   position   I

proximal phalanx; «*• middle   muscles straighten the phalai

-                 - •-                »   _i__i_.___fan____                                             *-*                              "*•

•which bears the claw# ao thi
the natural position for tl
animal is to be in a state of retracted, claws, which of conn
preserves them from friction; when wanted for aggressive pu
poses, they are puHed into sight by the action of the muadi
already mentioned.

Much  nas been written as to the shape of the pupil of tl
Cat's eye.     Some careful observations n^aa the mafcfer tove bee